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The Exterior

We’re going to cut right to the chase with the looks of the NZXT Tempest. The exterior is a rather interesting design. On the front you have the potential for nine 5.25″ drive bays. The top three bays are meant specifically for optical drives and other peripherals. The bottom six can take drives, but come pre-installed with a set of fans.

Two fans to be exact. The installed fans are of the 120mm variety, and are illuminated with blue LEDs. The drive bay covers themselves are perforated for maximum airflow. One would think this would lead to a great deal of dust, but all the drive bay covers have foam dust filters on them to prevent such a thing.

The top of the Tempest matches the two front mounted 120mm intakes with two 140mm exhaust fans. These two fans actually reside directly above the CPU, which should aide in clearing the hot air generated by that component. They don’t have any dust filters, but being for exhaust they don’t really need them.

Directly in front of the 140mm fans is the cluster of front controls and connectors. NZXT decided to place them on the top of the Tempest rather than on the front. I’m guess the thinking behind this is that most people place their rigs on the floor, which makes this position quite convenient. As for which connectors are offered, from right to left you have USB, Audio, eSATA, reset button, and power button. The eSATA connector basically just adapts a regular SATA port, and comes with a cable you connect to a free port on your motherboard.

Turning to the rear of the case, we see that the configuration is once again quite similar to the Antec P182. The power supply is mounted in the bottom of the case, and the motherboard and expansion cards are mounted in the top. There’s a 120mm fan on the back for additional exhaust of warm air, and it’s complimented by a 120mm blue LED fan mounted on the side for intake.

Near the bottom there’s a couple of rubber lined holes. These are for those who wish to use water cooling and need to mount an external radiator. Unfortunately this is where the Tempest differs from the Antec P182, as these holes are incredibly small and would only be able to accommodate tubing with an OD of 5/8″ (3/8″ ID) or smaller. That leaves a lot of us that like to use 3/4″ OD (1/2″ ID) tubing out in the cold.

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